| Article written on October 7th, 2015 at 10:35am | Follow Garrett on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram |
Linking the lower body, core, and upper body into coordinated movements is vital. In everyday tasks, our body functions together as a whole to carry out certain functional movements. This is especially true in athletics. One area I find valuable and address in many of my programs is creating a stable base upon which the upper body can move. This requires not just strength in the lower extremity, but balance and stability. Once we lose stability in the lower half, we limit our potential to be strong or powerful from the core and upper body.
The split squat to rotation throw can be extremely beneficial when done correctly. It utilizes the lower body strength, stability, and balance mentioned above, and an upper body power component with the medicine ball throw. One thing I like to emphasize on set-up is that the legs are aligned. Oftentimes, we are so focused on throwing the ball that our set-up is incorrect, which leads to less benefit. The ankle, knee, and hip on one side should be aligned, as should the other. Maintaining this throughout the split squat and medicine ball throw is the hard part which, when mastered, dramatically improves stability.
How to perform this movement
- Turn your body to align parallel with the wall
- Lower to the floor into the 1/2 kneeling position (lunge)
- Ensure the leg closest to the wall is always the up leg
- Hold a light/medium medicine ball directed in front or slightly across the body
- Raise away from the ground to the top of the split squat movement
- Lower back down towards the ground without touching the knee down
- When stable, complete a rotation throw across the body
- Aim so the ball returns back over the thigh
- Repeat the split squat and medicine ball throw for the desired repetitions
Note: Alignment is key. The back should always be up tall and the limbs aligned with each other. Prevent faltering and loss of balance by engaging through the hips and core. On the medicine ball throw we are trying to develop rotational power. So, a light medicine ball thrown fast is more beneficial then a heavy medicine ball thrown slow.
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART